Sunday, January 30, 2011


Today I am hidingsitting in my bedroom listening to the sounds my children make as they play.
I hear dinosaur roars, children's yells and laughter, and cars racing across hardwood floors.
I feel myself soaking it up, because, for the moment, it is the sound of joy.
It is another layer of emotion plastered onto the walls of this old house.
Normally my Sunday's involve a quick trip to the store, laundry for the week, stripping beds and making dinner.
Today I'm still tackling laundry, but I pushed the rest aside just to be.
Yesterday, it was over seventy degrees in Oklahoma at the end of January. It was a day of bliss in the midst of winter.
The Man took the children and ran them, played with them, and let them take the edge off their spring fever.
I had a day of unadulterated silence.
I got a pedicure--the first time since pre Punk.
I drank an iced coffee just because.
I finished a good book without interruption.
I putzed around our house and added a few new pictures to the walls.
When I was pregnant, it was called nesting. Now, its a form of meditation.
And with this kind, my back doesn't ache and my knees haven't locked up from sitting cross legged on the floor.
Although I love winter and the fresh coldness of it, yesterday was a gift, a chance to renew my soul, a chance to push open the windows and really breathe.
And, like a drowning woman, I did. Great gulping breaths that recharged my spirit and left me feeling sated and replete.
I now can hear my children without thinking how loud they are, how heavy their footfalls are as they pound across our floor. I can now hear the nuances of their childhood and understand that, in this moment, it is good.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


There are days I wonder why life can't be as easy for us as it is for other people.
(And, yes, I throw a pity party and stomp my feet. I'm allowed. My old debate teacher told me I could pout for five minutes before I had to shake it off an move on. This is my five minutes.)
The Man and I try to live an ethical life. We try to help people out. we go to work daily. We pay our bills. We raise our children in the best way we can.
But nothing ever comes easy.
We have been trying since October to sell our rental place. We kept it until it had served its purprose, not making any money on it, just letting a woman I thought was a friend live there and paying enough to cover the house payment and insurance.
Not only did she leave, thumbing her nose at us as she went and owing us back rent, she left trash and property and belongings and a ruined friendship in her wake.
But we pulled on our big girl panties (yes, even The Man) and moved on. We sold it within a week to a very nice man who put a down payment on it.
When we went to update the abstract, all hell broke loose and we learned that there was a problem with the deed and it would have to go through probate.
The man we'd been buying it from for ten years wasn't in any big hurry to fill out forms and take care of it (why would he be? He was still getting paid!), and his dragging of the feet has landed us at the first of February and a possible closure in the next week.
Luckily our buyer is a saint and has hung on for the long haul.
But still, we've had to climb a mountain just to see the other side on what should have been an easy experience.
Last year, we had to struggle with Bug's school and diagnosis and everything that went with it.
We had two plus years of dealing with The Man's hand and injuries.
We're still dealing with it in the form of crippling headaches due to his PTSD.
And last week, my darling baby girl was basically handed a sentence of asthma. Not that the doctor would say it for sure, but if you put her on daily nebulizations with a medication designed to stop asthma attacks and tell me we'll be using an inhaler next, that duck is quacking loud enough for me to hear.
I'm not complaining. Well, yes, I am. A little. Five minutes, remember?
I know other people have it worse with illness and death and debt and no homes or family.
I get it. My complaints are minimal in comparison.
I wouldn't trade places with them for the world.
But it would be nice to trade up and have more money and more freedom and less stress and better health.
I've grown up hearing we're never given any more burden than we can carry.
Someone must have realized I can carry a lot and still stay upright. (I'd love to know who ratted me out so I could slap them silly and ask WTH they were thinking?)
But it would be nice to not have to shoulder such a heavy burden, not to be such a pack mule, and to be able to breathe.
Selling the house will be a huge breath of fresh air.
And a load of this ass's back.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


There are time when my mind is so full it feels empty, as though it is a bottomless cavern that can hold no more. No more thought, no more knowledge, no more emotion.
On those days, I want to retreat into myself and find that small, still, silent place within.
It reminds me of the Neverending Story and the quest to stop the Nothing from devouring the world.
I yearn for that nothing.
But, as the mother of three small children who have no idea how glorious silence can be, my moment of peace is normally gone in the blink of an eye.
I love my heathens, but I crave quiet like an alcoholic craves his next drink.
My husband is a good man, but he likes to talk, and I just want to retreat into the confines of my mind to just . . . be.
My life is full and boisterous and noisy and alive.
And I treasure that.
But occassionally, a mama just needs to breathe, to stop, to listen to the echoing sounds of nothing in her mind.
Without the pounding of little feet, the cries of indiginant outrage, the needs of four other people pressing down into my silence, making it heavy and loud and full.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parental humor

I admit it.
My mind hangs out in the gutter more than I care to admit.
But there are some things that, no matter how hard I try to take the high road, I land smack in the gutter once more, squealing like a pig.
For the holiday, each heathen got a talking Toy Story 3 toy. Bug got Buzz, Punk got Jesse, and Boo got . . .Woody.
Even just typing it there I snickered.
I know somewhere in the minds of the Disney execs they had to realize the snickers and guffaws and innuendo that would result from naming a doll . . .Woody.
I think they did it, just like the phalic shaped homes on the cover of Little Mermaid DVD's in the 90's, to amuse us dirty minded parents.
But that's just me.
On to the teen age hilarity.
The day after Christmas, I drove to four different stores trying to replace my son's broken Woody.
My husband has to routinely ask my son where he put his Woody.
Boo will tell us daily he doesn't know what he did with his Woody.
Punk has announced she's going to play with Woody. And then she kissed it. (The doll!)
I fell over laughing. The Man, not so much.)
We have have had runaway Woody's, misplaced Woody's, cold Woody's, hot Woody's, hidden Woody's, flying Woody's, squished Woody's, etc.
All while The Man and I are biting back laughter like the mature parental role models we are.
All because of Woody.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Home is where the heart is.
Home is where you hang your hat.
My home is a structure recently expanded upon that was filled with decades of love before I ever took possession.
It's my grandparents house.
I grew up, in part, in this house.
I'm raising my babies in this house.
The only room I can't see my grandparents in is my bedroom, and, while we're not hanging from the rafters lately, I think that's a good thing. Because I'm pretty sure grandpa doesn't need to see that!
But when I walk in, I catch a glimpse of the past superimposed over the present.
I see two recliners and a black couch and chair that I grew up with. I see my grandpa's ratty old fisherman's shoes with the hole in the toe. I see my granny walking in from the kitchen with a oatmeal pie in hand.
There is a little boy reclining on the couch and a curly headed little girl snuggled up against grandpa.
There's a dog snoring on the floor.
I see home.
And then, in an instant, I see my house as it really is.
Still a home. But one with toys on the floor and red walls (which I'm sure grandpa hates and granny loves), one with three children running to greet me with happy smiles and a husband coming out of the kitchen with dinner ready.
I see short haired boys with devilish grins falling over swiftly growing feet to tell em about their days. An the curly headed girl that was me thirty years ago is now my daughter, and that seems right.
I lay awake and listen to the sounds of the house, some as familiar to me as my own heartbeat. I know my children are safe in their rooms, rooms that are guarded by doting great grandparents who whisper sugar laden dreams to my babies while they sleep.
And while our plans may take us away from this house, I know, for me, it will always be home.
And home is where my heart is.

Friday, January 7, 2011


There are day when I don't see much of myself in my children.
Days when the boys break a window in the house, chase each other with homemade shanks, or when there is a belching contest at our dinner table.
Those days I firmly believe the hospital gave my baby to someone else.
But there are days when I realize my DNA is proud and strong.
There are days I crow with pride in my offspring.
Yesterday was one of those days.
The Man went to Punk's school to volunteer. While dancing with the class, Punk proceeded to tell him "You need to stop that now."
Last night, he was doing something else. She responded, "That's enough of that."
I'm beginning to feel hopeful that if I kick the bucket tomorrow, The Man would be routinely and roundly put in his place by our duaghter.
It makes a mama proud!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I am thirty five years old.
I have been married for fifteen years.
I have three living children and one angel.
I have a job, friends, a home, and a life.
And I came to the realization I don't recognize myself in any part of it.
And while I'm not read to chunk it all like Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love," I do know I need to seek that portion of me that is simply . . .me.
I get up every day and parent children, go to work come home, cook, bath, bedtime, and barely have five minutes of my own to breathe.
There are some days I cannot stand the slightest sound whispered by my offspring.
There are days when I can't bear to be apart from them.
There are good days in my marriage where The Man doesn't drive me bonkers with stupid questions and inane chatter.
There are days when his very next breath may be the one that makes me snap, that makes me walk away from a life I participated in making.
I live for others, not for myself.
And while I'm not singing the praises of a selfish life, I find that I've fallen into the trap so many women do.
I am for everyone else. I live for everyone else.
And not for me.
I am mother, wife, employee, daughter, friend.
But no where on my list do I clearly state, "I am me."
No where one my list do I have myself penciled in.
I am simply . . .nowhere . . in my own life.
So for 2011 I'm taking back me.
I'm going to be a little selfish.
I'm going to be a little greedy.
I'm going to take at least five minutes to myself no matter who I have to take it from, because I am no good to anyone if I'm not actively living as me.
I have given up myself for others benefit, and now I'm serving notice that I'm taking a small portion of me back.
I don't know how it will work or what the repercussions will be, but I know it won't be pretty.
But I do know I don't want to wake up another morning and not know the woman looking back at me.
So for 2001, my resolution is to be a little more greedy. I will expect more of my family while giving slightly less. I will ignore my husband at times in order to focus on me. And I will remove myself from my children s clinging hands in order to fully breathe in life.
Because only then can I return to them more fully committed to our life.